Tutsi Rebellion in the Congo 1998-Present

[ 1998 - 2014 ]

On August 3, 1998, in the easternmost part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), rebellious Tutsi-led troops seized control of Goma and Bukavu, announcing their intention to topple the government of Congolese president Laurent Kabila (1940-), who was accused of tribalism, power-grabbing, mismanagement, and extravagant living. Kabila had evidently discriminated against the Congo's Tutsi minority, known collectively as the Banyamulenge and closely tied to neighboring Rwanda. Mainly consisting of Tutsis, Rwandan soldiers, and disenchanted Congolese, the rebels opened up battlefronts in both the east and west, capturing Kisangani and the Congo River port of Matadi respectively in mid-August. Rwanda's Minister of Defense Paul Kagame (1957?-) appeared to back the rebellion in the eastern Congo, with the hope perhaps to redraw the borders there to protect his Tutsi brothers. Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (1924-) deployed troops to help Kabila fight off rebels advancing on the Congo's capital, Kinshasa. Angolan troops soon crossed into the Congo in support of Kabila's loyalist forces. The war threatened to engulf other African states, and chances of a negotiated settlement grew dim. In early 1999, in retaliation against attacks by Kabila's allies, rebels terrorized and slaughtered many civilians in eastern villages.

Related Conflicts

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